Biographies of Workshop Leaders, BI Poetry Project, April 11-14, 2013
Michael R. Brown
Michael has published four books of poetry. He has performed poetry, taught classes, and lectured in various world venues from Stockholm to South Korea. Instrumental in bringing the poetry slam to New England, he created both the Cantab weekly series and the theatrical show Dr. Brown's Traveling Poetry Circus. He and his partner Valerie Lawson live in Down East Maine, publish the poetry journal Off the Coast, conduct readings and workshops at the Cobscook Community Learning Center, and teach at the Sunrise Senior College at the University of Maine-Machias.
Valerie's work has been published in Main Street Rag, BigCityLit, Sensations Magazine, and others. Valerie's first book, Dog Watch, was released in 2007. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Lawson won awards for Best Narrative Poem and Spoken Word at the Cambridge Poetry Awards and was invited as a Legacy Poet to the first Women of the World Poetry Slam in Detroit. In 2012, Valerie became a member of the board of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.
poet, playwright, storyteller, certified Interplay leader, has written two books of poetry and numerous plays and essays. She performs improvisational movement and spoken word with Wing It!, a theater ensemble based in Oakland, California. She loves embodying her contradictions as fully as possible.
incorporates poetry, movement, meditation, permaculture and foraging into innovative workshops founded on her quest to become a "story-carrier," known in the Gaelic tradition as a seannachai. She has taught at the Block Island Poetry Project and at the Omega Institute and is the author of two collections of poetry, several unpublished novels, and the blog www.wildblockisland.blogspot.com where she shares her knowledge of seaweed and the wild green shoots and leaves waiting at the edges of our vision for us to notice them and eat.
Nancy Anne Miller,
a Bermudian poet with an MLitt in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, has a poetry collection about Bermuda forthcoming from Guernica Editions (CA). Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of international publications. She is a MacDowell Fellow and teaches workshops in Bermuda.
Born in the Bronx, Myra returned to New York after 45 years in Georgia and Tennessee, where she lived as a wife and mother and worked as a librarian and teacher of English. Her poems have appeared in Harvard Review
and other journals. She has published a memoir, Four Sublets, Becoming a Poet in New York and three books of poetry, most recently, 12 Floors Above the Earth. She is the recipient of two fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, teaches workshops for the International Women's Writing Guild, and serves on the board of directors of Poets House,
New York City.
lives on Block Island where she teaches Kripalu Yoga, leads retreats for adults and youth, is an Hakomi therapist and bee-keeper. As a teacher, she has brought her practices of yoga, mindfulness, poetry writing, African drumming and group singing to the BI Poetry Project, Robert Bly's Great Mother Conference and Universal Dances of Peace celebrations. Her body-centered poems are inspired by the island's solitude, wind, waves, her morning practices, and even her 3 A.M. hot flashes. She has produced a yoga CD entitled "Tidal Flow" and has been published in the anthology The Poetry of Yoga.
Grace Bochain Luddy
is a fine art photographer with work held in private and public collections in the U.S., Japan and Trinidad. She is an exhibiting member of the Spring Street Gallery on Block Island. Her recent book, Waves: Living with the Ocean on Block Island, is a collection of photographs of ocean waves and essays about the island. Grace is also an adjunct professor in the Lally School of Management and Technology (Hartford Campus) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, teaching courses at the graduate level in international business, culture, and negotiation.